Prepare for a splash landing as the new season of the CG-animated “mini-movie” series Star Wars: The Clone Wars debuts this Friday, September 16 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on Cartoon Network. In this new installment, Senator Padmé and her Jedi and clone protectors are sent to the previously unseen water world of Mon Calamari to try to quell threats of a civil war. But war proves inevitable, and a fierce underwater battle breaks out as SCUBA clones take on the overwhelming Quarren and Separatist forces.
“For these episodes we’re really under water the entire time, which presented a lot of new challenges–not least of which was creating animation while keeping the characters buoyant,” says supervising director Dave Filoni. “We wanted the cameras to feel like scuba cameras, and so the movements are slightly different than the ones you normally see in an episode. And the environment is populated with many small details such as a lot of coral and barnacles, which makes it feel as rich and dense as an ocean environment should be.”
Filoni adds that the cinematic scope of the series is just as intense in this new season, with one of the early battles featuring thousands of characters. Following the premiere episode “Water War” will be “Gungan Attack” which finds the retreating Jedi and Mon Cala retreating to underwater caves following a Separatist attack. The season’s new villain, the shark-like Riff Tamson, seeks to crush all hope of resistance, and Jedi Master Yoda turns to the amphibious Gungan army for aid—but will they arrive in time to break the siege?
“This season the fights reach a new level right from the get-go,” Filoni says. “The things we experimented with in the past, which were maybe one or two acts of a battle, are now becoming a whole arc over three or four episodes. We’re executing these battles on a scale not seen before. And while the battles are the big buzz this year, there will also be some surprises along the way.”
Get an advance peak at the action below: